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Psychometric profiles – a short cut to effective leadership?

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According to The Society for Human Resource Management around 18% of companies in the US use psychometric testing for recruitment decisions, and this percentage is increasing by 10-15% annually. However, these tests have a whole variety of uses and can be an invaluable tool for leaders seeking to get the most from their teams. Here are some of the ways psychometric profiles can benefit you as a leader.

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Psychometric profiles - a short cut to effective leadership?

Select the right people

Sometimes, hiring decisions can be very critical, and mistakes so costly, so it’s understandable that organizations seek the right talent using a range of tools. Psychometric tests are widely used as part of an overall recruitment strategy. Profiles are usually created for individuals. Some psychometric providers, such as Thomas, also offer the option to create a profile of the ideal behavioral characteristics required for a role. Candidates are then matched against that profile to assess which one fits most closely.

Understand the individual

Psychometric reports can provide an instant overview of the personality and behavioral preferences of an individual team member. For example, the Myers Briggs Type indicator may reveal someone to be an INFJ meaning that they are likely to be an ‘insightful visionary’. It will highlight their strengths and the way they can best contribute to the work of the team. It may also help to explain lackluster performance, highlighting that you could have a square peg in a round hole. All it may take to bring out their best is a change of role or an understanding of things that may hinder their progress.

Adapt your leadership style

By providing insights into an individual’s ‘type’ psychometric profiles can also assist you in becoming more agile as a leader. Reports will typically identify potential stressors for each type, helping you to recognize the signs when someone is under pressure and finding it hard to cope. This gives you a better chance to respond appropriately.

Help identify areas for their professional development

We all have professional strengths and weaknesses. Or as they’re more correctly labeled, ‘areas for development’. A profile will help to identify these. As psychometric profiles are based entirely on the responses given by the individual, they are often more open to accepting that there are aspects of their behavior that could hinder their progress, and working on them. Profiles could be used to identify learning needs for a group, as well as for an individual.

Understand your own responses

Finally, to become an even more effective leader, it’s important to have an insight into your own responses to other people and situations. Completing a psychometric profile can be a great tool, and people often report one or more ‘lightbulb moments’ when they suddenly understand the reason behind the way they respond.

Sharing your profile with your team members can also help them to understand you better. That’s why completing the profiles as a group is one of the most effective team-bonding exercises you can carry out.

To summarize, validated psychometric profiling can be a powerful part of your leadership toolkit, providing invaluable insight and helping you to gain the best from yourself, and your team.

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